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Blaine Blaine

Chicken and Egg From 'Coi' (Part 1)

GARUM?! ....really? Garum?... like...garum garum? Like ancient Roman fish sauce that even Heston Blumenthal couldn't be bothered with when he was making his Roman Feast? That's just an extra level of insane. May we use Vietmanese fish sauce or do we have to go scuba diving off the coast of Crete for an amphora of garum?

Low-Country Shrimp Boil with Spicy Remoulade

This is almost identical to the meal my sister in law made last summer. I'm not much of a seafood person, but it was dynamite. I seem to remember her using a coarser spice mix, but I couldn't stop eating the potatoes!

Congrats to the 2012 James Beard Journalism Award Winners

I realize that half the reason it exists is because it's cool to own a giant tome of cookery... but it drives me nuts Modernist Cuisine isn't available in ebook form!

What Discontinued Soda Do You Miss?

I really dug Pepsi Blue.

I'm sure there's several I'll remember later, but I also really liked the sour grape Mountain Dew (Black II, I think).

I love Trader Joes

I always hear people say TJ is expensive, but never back it up. I went today to buy the misc snack and sundry items I like to have on hand (mostly prepared and frozen meals for lunch since I work nights).

I purchased:

(3) 8 .oz Packages of Dried Mango
(3) 12 .oz Dark Chocolate bars
(2) Frozen Margahrita Pizzas
(4) Chicken Tiki Masala
(2) 4 packs of Frozen Naan
(2) 6 packs of mini Edam cheese
A large package of Palmiers
Package of Parmesan Crisps
Family sized frozen Fettucini Alfredo w/ Chicken
Package of Char Sui Bao
Package of refrigerated ravioli
A package of lemon herb chicken breasts
Mochi Ice Cream
Sweet Potato Chips
Large Bouquet of Flowers

Grand total with tax was $72.

That's lunch and snacks for 2 weeks. About $3.50 a day and 100x better than anything I'll find near the office.

Let's not even focus on the fact that it's all prepared food, which is always more expensive. It's convenient and delicious.

This whole "Trader Joe's is too expensive" is factually inaccurate.

Find me an 8 oz. package of dried mango for less than $1.99 any where else. You can't even get it that cheap buying in bulk at Costco. And it's good mango!!

Cake Flour By Weight?

I know this might sound odd, but I had unusual results last night.

I was making mini pound cakes by my normal recipe (equal parts by weight egg, flour, sugar and butter) and instead of AP flour, I decided to try Swan Down cake flour.

I cream the butter and sugar, add the eggs and then barely combine the flour and bake.

This last batch came out like a styrofoam cushion! My first thought was I over mixed the batter, but the flour is really just folded in with a spoon.

Is it that I can't do a substitution for cake flour by weight?

The Food Lab: My Favorite Cooking Hacks

It's because of my addiction to MacGyver as a kid (along with a healthy addiction to Mr. Wizard and Jacques Pépin) that I constantly press myself to try and come up with unique solutions to common kitchen problems. They're not always successful, but when they are, you get so much more satisfaction out of developing a novel recipe or technique than you do out of merely tweaking what's standard. Here are a few of my favorite kitchen hacks. Some are my own, others are not, all of them are pretty awesome, if you ask me. More

The Food Lab: How To Make Awesome Tandoori-Style Grilled Chicken At Home

These days, pretty much every Indian restaurant in the United States prominently features Tandoori Chicken on their menu in varying degrees of quality. At its best, it's incomparably juicy, mildly spiced, with an intense hit of smoke. Served simply with sliced onions and a squeeze of lemon or lime, it's good, honest, simple cooking. But more often than not, you end up with dry, stringy breast meat reheated in the oven. My goal this week: figure out how to make this Indian classic in my own backyard. More

Sous-Vide Steaks

Note: The science behind sous-vide is fascinating. Check it out here. About the author: After graduating from MIT, J. Kenji Lopez-Alt spent many years as a chef, recipe developer, writer, and editor in Boston. He now lives in New York... More